Thursday, March 30, 2006

Daffs, Raffles and Pressganging

A short piece in the local paper caught my eye last week, reading the that Bosvale Garden Society would be holding their spring flower show in the local hall. Now this is where we're having our wedding reception, and given that it's normally locked, and I haven't been in there for several years, I thought this would be an ideal opportunity to go and have a memory-refreshing nose about, count available chairs and that sort of thing.

So last night, off we duly trotted down the road, in a torrential downpour, I might add. Reached the hall, and entered the foyer. All very quiet. Cracked open the door, spotted some flowers, ok this is the right night - but rather to our alarm, instead of the expected visitors milling about looking at exhibits, there were two short rows of elderly people sat on plastic chairs listening to someone at the front.

I'd have cut and run with a muttered apology, but C. was recognised by someone in the room, and before I knew what was happening, we were hustled inside and they were finding us chairs and welcoming us profusely. With the hair-raising utterance "and look everybody - they're YOUNG". I sincerely hope it was only in my head that the next sentence was "their flesh will be tender when we kill and eat them..."

So there we were, inadvertantly inducted into the arcane world of local gardening and flower showing. Which was actually very interesting, and I now know a lot more about Dutch bulb propagation and the use of daffodil bulbs in Alzheimer's research than I did this time yesterday.

There was even tea and scones. And then a raffle, in which I won a pot of daffodils. Cornish Chuckles, indeed. Although there weren't any raffle tickets, we didn't have to pay, and I rather suspect this was a ploy to encourage me to come again. Which of course I now have to, having promised at least three eager members on separate occasions that I would.

Oh, and not only were there about exactly the amount of chairs that we'll be needing, there's also a pool table...

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Loose Change

Went into the shop at work and, of the five and ten pound notes in my wallet, decided to pay with the fiver. Duly handed over the note, and was given change for a tenner. Pointed this out to the chap, who laughed, and said I was very honest, and it must have been because people had been giving him tenners all morning, and took back the balance.

Left the shop, looked in my wallet, and, you've guessed it, I HAD actually handed over the f*@#%*g ten pounds. Far, far too embarrassed to go back and say so. And I didn't get ANYTHING out of it, as I was shopping for someone else, who, after asking if I'd be passing, promptly handed me a written list* of items. Who knew doing a favour would work out so expensive...

Considered shouting "I'm sick of you taking advantage of me just because I haven't got any breasts" but was faced with the sad liklihood of no-one having a clue what I was talking about and looking at me strangely. Not an infrequent occurrence, it has to be said.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Latest acquisition

Signed photo of Joanna Lumley and David McCallum. The combination of eBay and a certain amount of disposable income is a wonderful and dangerous thing...

Saturday, March 25, 2006


Hilaria - a festival of joy celebrated annually in ancient Rome on this date after the vernal equinox*. Festivities closed with a ceremony of washing believed to promote fertility. This event turns out to be tripley pertinent to today, as:

  • Spring has arrived in the garden: my first daffodil is out, and there are primroses in the lawn;
  • Going out to dinner tonight, thereby covering the no doubt obligatory carousing parts of the festival;
  • Bought a shiny new Big Blue Beast of a vacuum cleaner. This may not sound exciting, but when you've had a crappy little cylinder affair for years, and no bags for it for months, hoovering suddenly becomes fun and I can see the colour of the carpet again. Got so overenthusiastic I mopped the kitchen floor an' all. Phew.

* Everyday Wicca, Gerina Dunwich

Friday, March 24, 2006


Flicking through the new Radio Times found a truely marvellous actor's name - Seamus Gubbins*. How cool is that?

Would also like to assert that the RT letter demanding they bring back Crime Traveller is not me writing under a pseudonym...(ooh, there's two of us liked it).

*Taggart, Thursday 29th

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

1 Gallery, 3 Museums, 3 Pubs and a Dinosaur

Family Carriage. I never knew such horrors existed.
On reflection, I suppose it's a good thing to isolate all chattering and whining moppets in one carriage, although not such a good thing to discover that your online seat booking has placed you firmly in the middle of it. More happily, the annoying ones had all gone by Newton Abbott, so the majority of the journey up was peaceful. And amazingly, on time - we had to keep waiting at stations because we were arriving early (I felt this was of note, being a phenomenon never before experienced and probably never to be repeated).

And they came in a Serenity bag. I'm easily pleased.
Met up with J. at Paddington, and due to combination of tube problems and HUGE ticket queues, proceeded to walk to Oxford Street, and the Forbidden Planet. Buying several books (including Sharper Than A Serpent's Tooth - signed. Hah!) to add to an already stuffed rucksack to proceed carrying across London may not have been the brightest idea, but boy it was satisfying. Why can't we have shops like this in Cornwall dammit? Rooms full of things I want and can't afford to buy all at once.

Scream Burger
Next stop, lunch, or tea, or something, no idea what the time was, less so after two pints. Double burger with bacon and cheese, onion rings and chips. And it's taken me this long to work out why the name (big bite see).

Wot No Zombies?
The evening saw an excursion to the Winchester (which the one in Shaun of the Dead was based on) which happens to be the local of choice. No zombies, but a rather strange man gyrating to the juke box in his own little world. I like London, you feel so safely anonymous because there's always someone around weirder than you for people to stare at.

Transuranic heavy elements may not be used where there is life.
The evening also saw the start of what would be (for me at least, by the time I went home on Monday) seven hours' worth of Sapphire & Steel watching. Well, I've only got the second one, had to grasp the opportunity...

Gothic Nightmares, Giant Naked Statues, and a Tyrannosaurus
Sunday started promisingly, with a cafe fry up and a watching of The Two Doctors. We proceeded to the Tate, and the
Gothic Nightmares exhibition thence sausage and mash in the Hoop and Toy pub in South Kensington, before going to the V&A, which I'd never been in before (as the last time I was in the vicinity you had to pay about £7 to get in). Impressive galleries of plaster casts of famous monuments and statues and doorways, including Trajan's Column (huge), Michelangelo’s David (also huge - had no idea) and my favourite pieces which were casts of Scandinavian doorways and pillars with intricate Viking carving of trees and beasts and so on.

Nipped next door to the Natural History Museum to see the animatronic T Rex (in his natural environment of dry ice). Although I still think that if you're going to all that trouble you should make one the size of a double decker bus, as illustrated on your panels... We then got trapped in some sort of stuffed mammal time loop, never has so long been taken to escape from a motheaten hyrax.

Back to Highgate, rather footsore, for an evening of jaffa cakes, tea, Joanna Lumley and David McCallum. J had to leave for Chichester (for work in the morning), and requesting of the landlord that I be let out of the building in the morning resulted in me being handed a bunch of keys for what appeared to be every room in the house, with the instruction to stick them back through the letter box. Trusting sorts, these Londoners.

Monday, Monday
Just time for a final S&S session, then found my way back to the cafe for breakfast, before venturing in the direction of the British Museum. Upon exiting the tube, made the mistake of following the signs, which ended up making me walk as far as the previous tube stop I'd just gone though. Retraced steps back to Russell Square and found a proper map and the back entrance, giving me about an hour for a quick perusal. Spent most of this looking at a handily situated display of ethnographic stuff from New Guinea and other islands, including a statue from Easter Island.

Then it was back to Paddington and the train home, where this time I discovered my seat to be in a carriage where every single light was flickering in a migraine-inducing frenzy. Fortunately, managed to find an unreserved forward-facing seat in the next carriage, and also inadvertently managed to look cross enough when someone wanted to sit next to me that they went elsewhere (there weren't exactly a shortage of seats).

All in all, a fabulous weekend, and even better I have two further days off work to recover!

Other random things that it pleased me to see:

  • A pink stretch limo
  • New Scotland Yard
  • Mornington Crescent tube station
  • Nose cone pieces of a EuroStar, like a build-it-yourself train
  • MI5 building
  • The London Eye (minus Autons)

Friday, March 17, 2006


Well, off to the big smoke for a couple of days tomorrow - no, not Truro, not even Plymouth, but London! Look out world...

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Amazon Weirdness

OK, I just tried to look up a book on Amazon, and the search result came back as follows:

We found no matches for "sharper than a serpents tooth" . Below are results for "team". If you prefer, you may try another search.

Team? What? How the heck-fire do you get from what I put in to that? Am I missing something here? Do they just substitue random words? It gave me all lego and barbie.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Linda Smith

Why did noboby tell me Linda Smith had died? (OK so it would probably help if I ever watched the news). That's really sad, and a great loss.

A Short Rant About Letters

Mentioned pre-lurgey that we'd joined the National Trust. And feel it worth pointing out that they might conceivably save themselves a good deal of money to spend on restoring bedpans or suchlike, if they didn't send out three separate letters of confirmation (one to say thank you for ticking the GiftAid box, one with the membership cards, and one with the confirmation of the Direct Debit details). All this information was provided to them on one form, which presumably went to one place, so why spend that much on postage for every new member?

Also, subscribed to SFX magazine online on the 4th February. Heard nothing for ages, then finally received a letter dated 2nd March saying that my subscription would begin with the May issue. What? What kind of service is that in the digital age? Crap, that's what. That's three whole issues later than I was expecting.

Ah, it's good to be back...

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


Well, that was 'orrible. A week flat on my back (and no, not in a fun way). Aching, shivering, sweating, streaming eyes, hacking cough, all round misery really. And there were nearly 48 hours where I couldn't eat. And I've only just got my taste back* so even when I could it wasn't any fun.

Is that enough whinging yet?

*And if anyone says I never had any in the first place I shall come round and cough on you

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


A few pictures from Trelissick Gardens on Saturday, where we appear to have joined the National Trust...

and a member of the local pheasantry...